The European Space Agency has developed a tiny spectrum-revealing camera that can fly inside tiny satellites known as CubeSats making it ideal for many applications from agriculture to environmental research. The hyperspectral camera could fit in the palm of your hand and works by dividing-up hundreds of narrow, adjacent wavelengths which reveal ‘spectral signatures’ of particular features, crops or materials, providing valuable data for fields such as mineralogy, agricultural forecasting and environmental monitoring, the ESA stated.
But by far the intelligence gathering ship FS Dupuy de Lôme will be the most controversial one. She is fitted with COMINT and ELINT equipment. Her helicopter pad might be used to launch and recover unmanned air vehicles which can carry additional intelligence gathering sensors. The ship is available for 350 days a year and active for 240 days. May be France is better in making strategic communication at a level that can be correctly interpreted by Russians by sending two spy ships to the back yard of the Russians.
Parliament is set to begin deliberations today about a bill expanding the powers of Turkey’s spy agency with additional missions both inside and outside the country, formally turning it into an intelligence coordination body that will work directly under the prime minister. Known as the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Law, the proposal was withdrawn in February after President Abdullah Gül demanded major changes to the proposed text.
The plan to revive the ISI’s Political Cell had been under consideration since last November, prior to the conduct of the LG elections in Balochistan in December, while it was given a go-ahead by the security establishment, on the reported directives of some “powerful ruling functionaries” during the start of this year, the insiders said. Reportedly, funds for conducting the operations of the Political Cell have been specified from the secret funds of the defence budget.
UK’s Intelligence Watchdog ‘Group’ Only Has One Full-Time Member, Oversight Efforts Compared To British Sitcom
Britain’s intelligence services had a system of oversight no better than that seen in the TV comedy Yes, Prime Minister, an MP said on Tuesday during a meeting of a Commons committee. Julian Huppert, a Liberal Democrat, said the sitcom depicting ineffectual government was an appropriate comparison after it emerged that the intelligence services commissioner appearing before MPs worked only part-time, and operated with only one other staff member.
Seoul aims to conclude a memorandum of understanding with Washington and Tokyo to protect military intelligence. The agreement is seen as a more viable alternative to a military intelligence-sharing deal with Japan that the government had to drop in 2012 after fierce opposition at home. “We can no longer neglect the issue of trilateral security cooperation among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo as North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats increase,” a government source said on Sunday.
High on the agenda at Friday’s meeting of European Union foreign affairs ministers in Dublin, Ireland — current holder of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union — is the future of the European External Action Service, which is set for a midterm review this year and an impending change in leadership. Among the topics expected to be put on the table is a German “nonpaper” proposal, seen by Devex, calling for the “strengthening” of the EEAS.
UK surveillance agency GCHQ is reportedly using telecom companies to gain access to sub-sea data cables in Europe.
The Belgian morning newspaper De Standard claims five of the cables, which resurface at the Belgian coast, are affected, and the data GCHQ gleans from them is then shared with the US National Security Agency. The information comes from Comité I, according to De Standaard — a committee that monitors the intelligence services in Belgium.
While the SKR and FSB seem to be cooperating against the MVD, they are nevertheless competitors on other fronts. For example, talk of the creation of some investigatory super-agency—a “Russian FBI”—have resurfaced periodically. Putin, a KGB veteran who well understands the power of dividing and thus ruling the security apparatus, has always held back from such a move. Nonetheless, the Russian press has now begun reporting leaks to the effect that such an agency may be announced this spring, to be fully operational by 2016 or 2017.
Germany is debating plans to expand its counter-espionage personnel and conduct “foundational monitoring” of the embassies of such nations as the United States and Britain, Spiegel said in its report on Sunday. The operations would include the tracking of US agents operating under diplomatic cover on German soil, the report said. Spiegel said Merkel’s office, the Interior Minstry and Foreign Ministry would all have to agree to give the green light to the enhanced counter-intelligence measures.
Countries in the Eastern African region will prioritize investment in modern intelligence gathering to forestall an eruption of conflicts in the region, regional military chiefs said on Saturday. The regional defense chiefs, who wrapped up a three-day meeting here, agreed that poor early warning systems were to blame for sporadic conflicts and general insecurity. “Some of the conflicts witnessed in the region lately could have been avoided had we acted on indicators that were above board. We need to invest in early warning to forestall chaos,”
Senior US officials and lawmakers are sending new signals that a fledgling cadre of military spies is a done deal, despite no real substantive public debate. The Pentagon last year proposed creation of the Defense Clandestine Service (DCS), saying the military needed its own team of spies to gather human intelligence across the globe. The country already has a civilian clandestine service within the CIA, which is itching to ditch some of its post-9/11 roles and return full-time to the spying and analysis business.
GCHQ Has Entire Program For ‘Dirty Tricks’ Including Honeypots, Using Journalists, Deleting Online Accounts
Remember the story from last year about the NSA using dirty tricks, like spying on the porn habits of non-terrorists and then trying to leak them to discredit those (again, non-terrorist) individuals? Apparently, the UK’s version of the NSA is way ahead of the NSA on that. A new report by Glenn Greenwald and others at NBC, based on Snowden documents, shows that the GCHQ has an entire program dedicated to these kinds of attacks. When it comes to companies, they talk about disrupting business deals and ruining relationships
Google Glass may soon become a favored tool for law enforcement agencies in the United States. The New York City Police Department’s massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned. The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out. “We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes,”.
“If Germany were making an economic deal for a gas pipeline in a way that would cause large international difficulties, that might be a reason to try to prevent a bad outcome,” Peter Swire, a professor of law and ethics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told journalists in Brussels on Friday (24 January). He noted that he was speaking in a personal capacity. But his remark sheds light on US President Barack Obama’s thinking about the future of the National Security Agency (NSA) in light of Edward Snowden’s revelations.
Under the UKUSA Agreement, the foundation for Anglo-American intelligence sharing signed in 1943 and considered so sensitive that it was not disclosed to the public until 2005, experts judge that the two countries have shared more secrets than any two sovereign powers in history. It is part of a mosaic of US facilities, from air bases to listening stations in locations from North Yorkshire to Turkey, which, in the words of one US document, “delivers full-spectrum options to combatant commanders, leads and supports joint … warfighting headquarters operations, promoting regional stability”.
A three-year study by the Pentagon has concluded that American intelligence agencies are not yet organised or fully equipped to detect when foreign countries are developing nuclear weapons or ramping up their existing arsenals. In a 100-page report by the Defense Science Board, the study said the agencies’ detection abilities, including finding “undeclared facilities and/or covert operations”, are “either inadequate, or more often, do not exist.”
Countering Gulenists: Turkey’s MİT to monitor all religious groups as potential parts of parallel state
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) recently sent a document in which all religious communities and groups within state institutions, described as “parallel state structures” (PDY) in the document, were cited as the main target to be monitored in 2014. “All [members of] religious groups described as PDY were referred to as the primary target [to be monitored],” the daily said.
In the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, Germany “is negotiating with the EU member states a European anti-espionage agreement,” the Süddeutsche and public broadcaster NDR reported. Such a pact had been discussed confidentially for months in Berlin and would commit the countries of the 28-nation bloc “to refrain from mutual espionage”, both political and economic, the daily said. The envisioned agreement “would allow surveillance only for previously agreed purposes such as combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” said excerpts of the Thursday report.
The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has successfully developed an ELINT (electronic intelligence) and image intelligence collection systems, which are installed on F-16s. “We now have the ability to design the signal intelligence collection equipment in the same class or better than that of advanced countries, by securing core technologies such as ultra-wideband signal high-precision direction finding and multiple signal digital analyzing technology obtained from the development of the “ELINT collection system.
The Pentagon will undergo a massive realignment to its intelligence arm and is stream lining its cyber warfare and science and technology efforts. Part of the re-organization will include merging the Pentagon’s ISR Task Force into an ISR Operations Directorate, counterintelligence and security directorates have been merged together and HUMINT, sensitive activities and National Programs Directorates have been combined. The initiative is part of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s plan to initiative to reduce Pentagon headquarters manning by 20 percent over the next five years.
Fears within the Obama administration and Congress are mounting about Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s plan to build a wireless network in South Korea. The Obama administration and Congress are turning up the pressure on South Korea to turn back from a pending deal with Huawei Technologies, a Chinese firm that the U.S. intelligence community believes is linked to the Chinese military. Top administration officials have begun quietly talking to Seoul about U.S. national-security concerns over the pending deal, which would see Huawei help build South Korea’s new broadband network.
Intelligence agencies, like businesses and political campaigns, recognize the value of social media in track trends, public sentiment and the kind of emerging public uprisings that took place during the Arab Spring. Agencies from the Homeland Security Department to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have looked to use social media analytics for signs of terrorism or as a conduit during emergencies. The challenges have included the size of the data and the fractured language used on the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
Sweden has sometimes been called the ‘Sixth Eye’ – referring to the English-speaking Five Eyes SIGINT alliance – suggesting a close working relationship between Sweden’s FRA and the NSA and GCHQ. New documents suggest that it has access to the XKeyscore tool, and has helped in the Quantum hacking program. Firstly, the NSA has granted the Swedish intelligence agency Försvarets Radioanstalt (the National Defense Radio Establishment known as the FRA) access to its XKeyscore program. XKeyscore is the front end that gives NSA agents and contractors the ability to search its huge databases.
This week, the embarrassment lay in the exposure of a real-life spying operation, with the clearest evidence yet that ASIS, apparently under political direction, had bugged the East Timorese cabinet room in 2004 to help Canberra arm-twist Dili over offshore gas fields. ASIO, the domestic spy agency, appeared to confirm the charge with a raid on the home of a former ASIS agent who had allegedly blown the whistle on the bugging operation. It also searched the premises of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery, who had been poised to call the former spy in legal action on East Timor’s behalf.
Israeli intelligence drew up a list of these men, each one the possessor of highly lethal skills that could be threatening to Israel, even if there had not been a coordinated network embracing of all of them. The list was headed by two men: Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s supreme military commander, and Gen. Muhammad Suleiman, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s head of secret special projects, including the building of a nuclear reactor, and the person in charge of Syria’s ties with Iran and Hezbollah.
Ground Self-Defense Force spies have secretly gathered intelligence abroad since the Cold War era without informing the prime minister or defense minister, a practice considered deviating from civilian control, former senior defense officials said. A special unit of the Ground Staff Office has set up bases in Russia, China, South Korea and Poland, if not elsewhere, and several dozen GSDF members of the team have engaged in intelligence activities overseas without a legal basis and by assuming false identities, according to the officials.
A US panel raised the specter of sanctions against China, warning Congress that Beijing has not contained its rampant spying on American interests, a major national security concern. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission in its annual report also flagged China’s massive increase in military spending as a worry, citing naval expansion as a threat to America’s role in Asia, AFP reports. The report accused China of “directing and executing a large-scale cyber espionage campaign,” penetrating the US government and private industry.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is planning to expand its counterintelligence operations to include friendly countries following revelations about the United States’ extensive spying programme. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has until now only systematically observed countries of concern, while allies in the European Union and NATO were observed only if there was a concrete suspicion, such as that they were spying on Germany or recruiting spies in the country, the official said. But given the NSA revelations, the agency will in future need to have a 360-degree view which will include friendly countries.
Espionage, especially spying on friends, has always involved a cost-benefit calculation – weighing the benefits of eavesdropping against the costs of being found out. But the expansion in sheer information gathering and storage capabilities since the 9/11 terrorist attacks has swamped any efforts to set limits and the proclivity to weigh the pros and cons, analysts say. And the downsides of that, they add, could be many and even lead to a damaging of the counterterrorism efforts that lie at the core of international intelligence cooperation.
China’s decision to set up a powerful national security committee has spurred deep fears in the country of society slipping further into a police state. “This worry is not unfounded, since China’s rulers have always managed to blur the line between ‘national security’ and the security for them to govern,” wrote Jin Manlou, a Shanghai-based writer on weibo. “Often in China, the army is used in domestic situations instead of in international conflicts.” Others speculated about the high status granted to the new agency, comparing it with that of the KGB.
Two arch-rivals, RAW and the ISI have been always trying to outwit each other, to dictate the terms for Bangladesh. At times RAW was successful, a few times the ISI was successful. Ill-prepared security networks, paid and unpaid agents, friends, and loyalists in Bangladesh also played significant roles here. Members of the Indian or Pakistani intelligence forces were patted on the back by their seniors and the government for doing a good job, though not necessarily good for Bangladesh.
America’s NSA and Britain’s GCHQ are both spying on the OPEC oil cartel, documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal. The security of the global energy supply is one of the most important issues for the intelligence agencies. Documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that both America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have infiltrated the computer network of the the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
FORGET mock outrage about Aussie spies in South-East Asia: if our spooks werent spying on Indonesia, China, Papua New Guinea or East Timor, then we’d really have something to worry about. Of course the Australian Government’s network of spooks and its large stocks of hi-tech eavesdropping equipment are used against our neighbours and friends around the globe. These shadowy government bodies have a combined workforce in excess of 6,000 people with annual budgets exceeding $5 billion or $217 for every man, woman and child in the land.
Did the Obama Administration ever spy on Mitt Romney during the recent presidential contest? Alex Tabarrok, who raised the question at the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution, acknowledges that it is provocative. Until recently, he would’ve regarded it as a “loony” question, he writes, and he doesn’t think that President Obama ordered the NSA to spy on Romney for political gain. Let’s be clear: I don’t think so either. In every way, I regard Obama as our legitimate head of state, full stop. But I agree with Tabarrok that today, “the only loonies are those who think the question unreasonable.”
Following an accident at the Alcântara satellite launch pad in 2003, in the state of Maranhão, Brazilian intelligence services investigated the possibility that the incident may have occurred as the result of sabotage by French secret service agents. The accident killed 21 people, including engineers and technicians from the General Command of Aerospace Technology, a division of the Brazilian Air Force. According to documents obtained by Folha from the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN, in its Portuguese acronym), there were at least three counter-espionage operations aimed at French agents and their contacts in Brazil.
Concerns were raised tonight that Britain operates a top-secret listening post from its Berlin embassy to eavesdrop on the seat of German power. Documents leaked by the US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden show that GCHQ is, together with the US and other key partners, operating a network of electronic spy posts from diplomatic buildings around the world, which intercept data in host nations. An American intercept “nest” on top of its embassy in Berlin – less than 150 metres from Britain’s own diplomatic mission – is believed to have been shut down last week.
EU justice commissionner Viviane Reding has said the Union should create its own intelligence service by 2020. Speaking on Monday (4 November) to Greek daily Naftemporiki on the US snooping scandal, she said: “What we need is to strengthen Europe in this field, so we can level the playing field with our US partners.” She added: “I would therefore wish to use this occasion to negotiate an agreement on stronger secret service co-operation among the EU member states – so that we can speak with a strong common voice to the US.
As Twitter is officially banned within most workplaces, for being a tricky ’140-character platform’, Pentagon and other intelligence officials have taken to a privately run, internal microblogging service called as eChirp, which appears to be a replica of the original site. According to The Verge, eChirp was established in 2009, the original goal of the site was to let expert analysts across different agencies weigh in on breaking news without compromising any secure information. The report said that a password-protected subdomain on the US intelligence community’s Intelink intranet is labeled ‘Chirp’
A veteran spy watcher claims Australia is playing a role in America’s intelligence networks by monitoring vast swathes of the Asia Pacific region and feeding information to the US. Spy expert Des Ball says Australia has been monitoring the Asia Pacific region for the US. He says Australia has four key facilities that are part of the NSA’s XKeyscore program. Senator Nick Xenophon says the Government must ensure Australians are not under US surveillance. Meanwhile, former NSA executive Thomas Drake has lifted the lid on spy practices.
The United States could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows, German officials said Monday, as Europe weighed a response to allegations that the Americans spied on their closest European allies. In Washington, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein called for a “total review” of all U.S. intelligence programs in response to the allegations — activity the California Democrat said she wasn’t told about.
Geography and social media analytics represent the latest tradecraft within Defense Department and the intelligence community, incorporating “human geography” into geospatial intelligence. For instance, the 2013-2017 National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Strategy calls for using both traditional and non-traditional (e.g., human geography and social media) geospatial sources. U.S. defense and intelligence agencies are monitoring Arabic-language jihadist Web forums and other online communications in order to “map” the “human terrain” of terror groups.
The United States is tapping telephones and monitoring communications networks from electronic surveillance facilities in US embassies and consulates across east and south-east Asia, according to information disclosed by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden. A top secret map lists 90 surveillance facilities worldwide, including communications intelligence facilities at embassies in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Yangon. Dated August 13, 2010, the map shows no such facilities are located in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Japan and Singapore – the US’s closest allies.
Fidan’s rise to prominence has accompanied a notable erosion in US influence over Turkey. Washington long had cozy relations with Turkey’s military, the second-largest army in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato). But Turkey’s generals are now subservient to Erdogan and his closest advisers, Fidan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who are using the Arab Spring to shift Turkey’s focus toward expanding its regional leadership, say current and former US officials. “Hakan Fidan is the face of the new Middle East,” says James Jeffrey, who recently served as US ambassador in Turkey and Iraq. “We need to work with him because he can get the job done,” he says.
The notion of foreign support for Baloch insurgents rests on a slippery slope. If a country accuses others of aiding separatism (India’s position on Pakistani support for Kashmiri separatists, or Pakistan’s allegation of Indian backing for the Pakistani Taliban or Baloch separatists), how can it prove them? Does an intelligence outfit leave its footprint? Do intelligence agencies use their own currency, weapons and gadgetry? The latest revelation is that former Indian army chief General VK Singh created a Technical Services Division (TSD) for covert operations in Pakistan — going after the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.
The FSB is much more than just an ordinary security service. Combining the functions of an elite police force with those of a spy agency, and wielding immense power, it has come a long way since the early 1990s, when it was on the brink of imploding. Today’s agency draws a direct line of inheritance from the Cheka, set up by Vladimir Lenin in the months after the Bolshevik revolution, to the NKVD, notorious for the purges of the 1930s in which hundreds of thousands were executed, and then the KGB. As the Soviet Union disbanded, the KGB was dismembered into separate agencies, and humiliated.
The CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters in Syria amid concern that moderate, U.S.-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country’s civil war, U.S. officials said. But the CIA program is so minuscule that it is expected to produce only a few hundred trained fighters each month even after it is enlarged, a level that officials said will do little to bolster rebel forces that are being eclipsed by radical Islamists in the fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
At least a dozen US National Security Agency (NSA) employees have been caught using secret government surveillance tools to spy on the e-mails or phone calls of their current or former spouses and lovers in the past decade, according to the intelligence agency’s internal watchdog.
The practice is known in intelligence world shorthand as “LOVEINT” and was disclosed by the NSA Office of the Inspector-General in response to a request by the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, Charles Grassley, for a report on abuses of the NSA’s surveillance authority.
MI6 drew up top-secret plans to allow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to flee to another African country which was not subject to international law, a new book to be serialised in tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph discloses. The explosive plan was drawn up at the highest levels of the British Government as fears mounted over how to remove the dictator during the Libyan conflict. Andrew Mitchell, the then International Development Secretary, was dispatched to build covert contacts with the controversial regime in Equatorial Guinea.
A Guinean government minister said the country was “in danger” from outsiders plotting against it amid media reports that a coup was being planned in the capital Conakry. Security Minister Madifing Diane made the comments in response to a story in the latest edition of Paris-based weekly Le Canard Enchaine which said it had seen French and American secret service documents “announcing a coup in Conakry”. Le Canard said the coup plot had been put together by “French, South African and Israeli mercenaries with links to Paris and Africa and backed by a diamond magnate”.
NSA spooks risk alienating yet another US ally after new documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden apparently revealed extensive surveillance of Indian domestic politics as well as the country’s nuclear and space programs.
The top secret document, obtained by The Hindu, suggests American spying activity in the sub-continent has gone far beyond that claimed by US and Indian officials.
The government is to establish national security and strategy study departments in up to 10 universities across the country, aiming to create a cadre of “ready to go” professionals for security and intelligence agencies. “We had a meeting in the (human resources development) ministry and the stakeholders concerned were present. We hope to start by next year in some universities—10 universities over the next four years, during the 12th Five-Year Plan,” said University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Ved Prakash.
The Defense Ministry plans to build a communications intelligence facility on Iwoto Island in the Pacific to improve its ability to conduct surveillance on China and its growing military presence, a government source said Thursday. The ministry has similar facilities at six locations, including in Hokkaido, to intercept communications between ships and aircraft. China has increased military operations in the Pacific in response to the sovereignty row over the Senkaku Islands, which has strained Japan-China relations.
From the FBI: “Beta Bot infection vectors include an illegitimate but official looking Microsoft Windows message box named “User Account Control” that requests a user’s permission to allow the “Windows Command Processor” to modify the user’s computer settings. If the user complies with the request, the hackers are able to infiltrate data from the computer. Beta Bot is also spread via USB thumb drives or online via Skype, where it redirects the user to compromised websites.
A top US intelligence official has said the inputs collected about terror financing have saved lives and the US doesn’t gather trade secrets of other nations.”"International criminal organisations, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, illicit arms dealers, or nations that attempt to avoid international sanctions can also be targeted in an effort to aid America’s and our allies’ interests,” he said. It is no secret that the intelligence community collects information about economic and financial matters and terrorist financing, he said.
South Korean politics has been paralyzed in the wake of allegations that a small group of left wing politicians had been secretly planning to help North Korea take over the country. Parliament has been idle since last week when legislators voted by a landslide to have sitting lawmaker Lee Seok-ki arrested for his alleged role in plotting with members of his United Progressive Party (UPP), a small far-left party with pro-North Korea leanings, to take out infrastructure in South Korea in the event of a war with the North, in order to help North Korean forces win.
The report in Bild am Sonntag, which is a widely read and influential national Sunday newspaper, reported that the head of the German Foreign Intelligence agency, Gerhard Schindler, last week told a select group of German lawmakers that intercepted communications had convinced German intelligence officials that Assad did not order or approve what is believed to be a sarin gas attack on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people in Damascus’ eastern suburbs.
The Israeli military’s top-secret Unit 8200, the Jewish state’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency, has spawned a generation of high-tech start-ups and more technology millionaires than many business schools, and these days the cyber security sector is booming. Unit 8200 is now the Israeli military’s biggest branch in manpower terms. It has grown swiftly in recent years as cyberwarfare has become one of the major security threats to military organizations and industrialized states whose vital infrastructure is vulnerable to cyberattack.
According to Agrell, Sweden sits in a geo-strategically important position with respect to the international signals intelligence system by having the ability to access cables that carry data traffic between the east and west. “Sweden sits on a pipeline filled with golden eggs,” he added. Last week, British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell revealed Sweden’s involvement as one of the United States’ most important partners in efforts to monitor internet communications across the globe.
The United States has ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms, according to top-secret US files that show Washington’s new level of distrust of the South Asian country. Citing the files, the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the CIA has also expanded its effort to gather intelligence in a bid to address US concerns about ‘biological and chemical sites’ in Pakistan. The spying operation was also seeking “to assess the loyalties of counterterrorism sources recruited by the CIA,” the newspaper said, quoting from the 178-page summary of the US intelligence community’s whopping 52.6 billion ‘black budget’ that also keep tabs on Al-Qaeda, North Korea and Iran, among others.
U.S. Intelligence Agencies Will Begin Publishing The Number Of Surveillance Orders They Request Each Year
In a victory for transparency advocates in the wake of the PRISM secret surveillance scandal, U.S. intelligence agencies will begin revealing the number of surveillance orders they request per year under various FISA ordinances, as well as national security letters. The agencies will also reveal the number of people that have been affected by each order. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced that the U.S. intelligence community’s Tumblr page, President Obama, will “provide immediate, ongoing and direct access to factual information related to the lawful foreign surveillance activities carried out by the U.S. Intelligence Community.”
GCHQ facilities in Cyprus are expected to play a key role in collecting intelligence which will inform any military strike against Syria despite Parliament last week voting against the UK joining in with any potential attack. The Cheltenham-based listening post has a presence on the island which is used to intercept messages from across the Middle East. The information gathered by the island facility, which is just 100 miles off the coast of Syria, is likely to be handed over to the US military ahead of any missile strike against President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia has sent a reconnaissance vessel from its Black Sea fleet to the coast off Syria, a report said Monday, as Moscow anxiously watches Western plans for military action against the Damascus regime, a report said Monday. The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye on Sunday evening started its voyage from its home port of Sevastopol in Ukraine “to the appointed region of military service in the eastern Mediterranean,” a military source told the Interfax news agency. “The crew has the mission… of collecting operative information in the region of an escalating conflict,” it added.
The United States’ “black budget” for fiscal 2013 amounts to $52.6 billion (or $167 per American), and it details what The Washington Post calls a “bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny.” According to a new front-page story on Thursday, the Post says that it now has the entire 178-page classified budget summary as supplied by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. This entire budget comprises the annual expenditures for the NSA, the CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and other spy and military agencies.
The unseen paths of the world’s information. The nation’s electronic espionage agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, is in a partnership with British, American and Singaporean intelligence agencies to tap undersea fibre optic telecommunications cables that link Asia, the Middle East and Europe and carry much of Australia’s international phone and internet traffic. Australia is connected to SEA-ME-WE-3 by a link from Singapore to Perth, and GCHQ’s bulk interception includes much of Australia’s telecommunications and internet traffic with Europe.
After 9/11, the NYPD built in effect its own CIA—and its Demographics Unit delved deeper into the lives of citizens than did the NSA. Over the ensuing decade, the FBI, CIA, and NSA would build surveillance programs that monitored bank transactions, phone records, and the e-mail routing fields.But the NYPD went even further than the federal government. The activities Kelly set in motion after 9/11 pushed deeply into the private lives of New Yorkers, surveilling Muslims in their mosques, their sporting fields, their businesses, their social clubs, even their homes in a way not seen in America since the FBI and CIA monitored antiwar activists during the Nixon administration. It was a proactive approach, but, in constitutional terms, a novel one.
The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned. In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.
Britain has a Middle East-based listening post collecting emails, phone calls and web traffic on behalf of western intelligence agencies, the Independent reported tonight. The listening post was established under the last government under a warrant signed by former foreign secretary David Miliband. The warrant authorised GCHQ to collect information about the “political intentions of foreign powers”, terrorism, proliferation, mercenaries and private military companies, and serious financial fraud.
GIBRALTAR Situated in sight of unstable north Africa and on the shipping route to the Middle East, Gibraltar has military and intelligence facilities that still make it a strategic asset for Britain, analysts say. Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in perpetuity in 1713 following a military struggle but has since the 1960s fought to have the territory returned to Spanish sovereignty. Tensions between Britain and Spain over the tiny territory have resurfaced over a concrete artificial reef built by Gibraltar in July. Madrid has said it is considering raising the dispute over its sovereignty with the UN.
Glimmerglass, a northern California company that sells optical fiber technology, offers government agencies a software product called “CyberSweep” to intercept signals on undersea cables. The company says their technology can analyze Gmail and Yahoo! Mail as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter to discover “actionable intelligence.” Could this be the technology that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is using to tap global communications? The company says it counts several intelligence agencies among its customers but refuses to divulge details.
Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security agency, has formed the agents into a vast network amid mounting concern about continuing instability in Egypt, particularly in the sprawling Sinai region which forms a frontier with Israel and the Gaza Strip. The largely lawless territory is now the prime focus of Israel’s counter-terrorism effort as fears grow that it could attract foreign Jihadists to fight alongside the local Bedouin recruits, sources say. The Israeli network has been tracking the activities of at least 15 different Salafist groups through close cooperation with Egyptian security forces, Haaretz newspaper reported.
Speaking at last Wednesday’s press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan expressed his determination in pushing ahead with the formation and activation of a state intelligence gathering apparatus.
Zeidan implied that he was still facing some opposition to this policy. The Prime Minister had indicated in an earlier press conference that he was receiving opposition to this move from the GNC and thuwar (freedom fighters) to this policy move.
Five Indian soldiers and one Pakistani civilian lie dead, victims of skirmishes on the disputed Kashmir border. But the real target of the violence may well be Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as Pakistan’s military and intelligence services try to thwart the newly elected leader’s aspirations for peace with India. “The intention here is to sabotage the peace process,” said Michael Kugelman, an expert on South Asia affiliated with the Woodrow Wilson Center. “This is a sad reality of India-Pakistan relations — whenever things are looking up, a saboteur tries to send all progress up in smoke.” The region has been on the boil since five Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush in the Poonch sector of India-administered Kashmir last week.
NSA, DEA, IRS Lie About Fact That Americans Are Routinely Spied On By Our Government: Time For A Special Prosecutor
It seems that every day brings a new revelation about the scope of the NSA’s heretofore secret warrantless mass surveillance programs. And as we learn more, the picture becomes increasingly alarming. Last week we discovered that the NSA shares information with a division of the Drug Enforcement Agency called the Special Operations Division (SOD). The DEA uses the information in drug investigations. But it also gives NSA data out to other agencies – in particular, the Internal Revenue Service, which, as you might imagine, is always looking for information on tax cheats.
The US has verbally assured Germany that a pact to ban mutual spying will include a vow not to snoop for German business secrets, officials said on Wednesday. Washington has been seeking to calm Germany since whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed large-scale global internet surveillance. There were allegations that Germany‘s embassy and EU offices in Washington had been bugged. The pact would include promises not to spy on each another‘s diplomatic missions or to conduct “economically related espionage,” Merkel‘s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said.
GSAT-7 has now begun its checkout at the Spaceport of Arianespace, in French Guiana in South America, to confirm the multi-band satellite’s readiness with payloads in the UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-bands. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it utilises India’s standard I-2K bus – the same as employed for the Indian Insat-3D satellite, which had lifted off on Arianespace’s VA214 mission on July 25. A senior official from the ISRO said on condition of anonymity: “It is for strategic purposes.” A person in the know of the development, said: “This only means that it is for defence purposes and it is a spy satellite. It is a satellite for a military communication network.”
Surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency has been at the center of a privacy controversy after its former contractor, Edward Snowden, released in June certain documents that suggested large scale collection of phone metadata and information from the Internet by the agency. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper has been directed to form the new Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, which is to brief President Barack Obama on its interim findings within 60 days of the establishment of the group. A final report and recommendations are to be submitted through Clapper to the president no later than Dec. 15.
On Thursday I wrote about the curious story of Michele Catalano and her husband who live on Long Island and were unexpectedly visited by the police. The team of six policemen asked to search the Catalano’s house and asked pointed questions such as “Do you have any bombs?” (to which terrorists always answer “yes”), “Do you own a pressure cooker?”, and “Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb?”
Teams of analysts at GCHQ now have the authority and the technical capacity to tap directly into the nervous system of the 21st century and peer into the lives of others. Dig deeper into the drily worded, acronym-filled files, and there are other insights about the challenges faced by GCHQ, and its own anxieties about meeting them. GCHQ has been tasked with finding the solutions, mindful that the potential rewards are high; never before has the agency had the opportunity to build such a complete record of someone’s life through their texts, conversations, emails and search records.
Pine Gap is a secretive facility nearly 20km south-west of Alice Springs which has been there since 1970. Run by both Australia and the United States, its official name is the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, even though our government really hates to admit it exists.
Pine Gap is essentially a satellite tracking station, situated in the middle of nowhere because that makes it hard for other countries to intercept the signals emitted from within. It is thought that the US controls all of its spy satellites from Pine Gap, and that the US and Australia “listen to Asia” from the 14 antennae concealed beneath white domes at Pine Gap.
The European Union (EU) is planning to assemble an independent intelligence body of its own in “an urgent response” to the recent revelation that the US has been spying on EU officials as well as European citizens.
The planned apparatus, which will be set up by owning and operating spy drones, surveillance satellites and espionage aircraft by the EU itself, will be used for “internal security and defence purposes,” the Telegraph reported, citing “officials.” The European Commission has issued a 17-page report, proposing some concrete steps that would encourage pan-European defense cooperation.
It’s been two years since Myanmar’s new government promised its people a more open way of life, but still they come, plainclothes state intelligence officers asking where former student activist Mya Aye is and when he’ll be back.
Politicians, journalists, writers, diplomats, too, find themselves being watched: Men on motorcycles tailing closely. The occasional phone call. The same, familiar faces at crowded street cafes. “It’s not as bad as it used to be,” said Mya Aye, who devotes much of his time today campaigning for citizens’ rights, “but it’s really annoying.
From Washington’s perspective, Bandar’s appointment is important news. Sure, his wife was investigated by Congress a decade ago about her connections to Al-Qaida activists. But Bandar is considered the CIA’s man in Riyadh. When there was a need to transfer money to the Nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s, Bandar dealt with the Saudi “grants” requested by the White House. He also arranged things when Saudi Arabia was asked to help fund the mujahideen’s battles in Afghanistan against the Soviets.
The Pentagon has documented a sharp increase in military espionage from the Asia-Pacific region that focuses on specialized electronics designed to withstand radiation, such as that caused by nuclear warfare or accidents, according to an official review released last week. For a number of years, foreign entities from East Asia and the Pacific “have demonstrated a strong interest in obtaining export-controlled U.S. rad-hard circuitry,” states the report by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Service
The doctrine of the Indian secret agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is based on the principle of waging continuous secret battles through its agents. Since its creation in 1968, RAW has assumed a significant status in formulation of Indian foreign policy. RAW’s operations against the regional countries are conducted with great professional skill and expertise, which include the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It has used propaganda, political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements to foment subversion and terrorism to weaken these states in consonance with Indian regional ambitions.
On Wednesday Bild published a major scoop, based on a document that was apparently sent by NATO to all the regional commands in Afghanistan back in 2011. This document laid out instructions for cooperation under a program called PRISM, which involved monitoring emails and phone calls, with access regulated by the U.S. Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS). This document naturally made its way to the Germans, who are somewhat controversially deployed in Afghanistan and, as Bild framed it, this meant the German government is lying about its PRISM ignorance.
The man with the keys to the North African nation’s vast energy wealth, Bouteflika has always fought to roll back the power of the unelected military and intelligence leaders who have played a decisive role in politics since independence. “I’m not three quarters of a president,” he said following his election in 1999, addressing critics who saw him as another puppet of the army chiefs. But as one political opponent who requested anonymity put it, the secretive “pouvoir” as they are known, and the DRS intelligence agency in particular, is “the only real power in Algeria”.
Few outside the intelligence community had heard of activity-based intelligence until December, when the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency awarded BAE Systems $60 million to develop products based on this newish methodology. But ABI, which focuses not on specific targets but on events, movements and transactions in a given area, is rapidly emerging as a powerful tool for understanding adversary networks and solving quandaries presented by asymmetrical warfare and big data.
In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say. The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny.
Listening devices can help evaluate threats and safety levels of people in many situations. A wireless microphone or wireless listening device broadcasts surveillance conversations to a radio receiver or communications receiver. These are the most common: Concealable transmitters, these can monitor conversations in a room if gaining access is difficult, by using room transmitters, body wires, wireless microphones or similar. These listening devices are self contained, free-standing, and can be placed in a room where discovery would be unlikely yet close to where conversations take place.
Fighting in Afghanistan could be stopped “in weeks” if Pakistan told the Taliban to end the insurgency, the head of the Afghan army has told the BBC. Gen Sher Mohammad Karimi said Pakistan controlled and gave shelter to Taliban leaders, deliberately unleashing fighters on Afghanistan. Pakistan denies controlling the militant group. It was one of the Taliban’s main supporters from its launch in 1994 until the 2001 fall of the regime. Most of the Taliban’s leaders reportedly then fled to Pakistan and the group is still considered to be heavily dependent on the support of certain elements in the country.
The Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) began to monitor social networking sites on 700 subjects, defined by the agency, in order to keep the government informed about demonstrations and organized movements in the country.
Abin is not the first intelligence agency in the world to create a system of monitoring Internet networks. Thus, to prevent any future unpredicted aggressions Abin created a monitoring system called Mosaic, which filters the posts on community networks.
Russia has stationed one of its advanced intelligence vessels in the Middle East in order to follow Western readiness for a potential strike in Syria. Last week, Israel conducted an extensive military exercise that saw the participation of the IDF ground forces, the Israeli Navy and the IAF. The precise goals of the exercise were not made public and remained a secret. However, assessments are that it was aimed towards Israel’s northern arena – towards the tension with Syria and Hezbollah.
Britain’s spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA). The sheer scale of the agency’s ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible.
A spy network formed by two Tunisians, three Moroccans and an Algerian collecting strategic information on behalf of Mossad comes to be dismantled in Algeria. «Plans vital strategic sites of the wilayas of the East of the country, Tebessa, Skikda and Annaba, as well as in Algiers, were seized by the security services». The members of the network recruited girls in the wilayas of Eastern Algeria, for the purposes of its spying mission, promising them send them to Europe, against the information they provide.
In that global marketplace, everything and anything goes. While nothing prevents individual security agencies from spying on enemies, nothing prevents friendly intelligence services from spying on each other too. So, former CIA contractor and NSA employee Edward Snowden’s claim that Britain and the US spied on some friendly countries should not outrage us. Those who express indignation that these democratic countries could spy on ‘friends’ like Turkey and Russia are either naive or live in a utopian world.
The Harper government wants to pull the cloak of eternal secrecy over past and present employees of nine federal agencies and those who used to toil at two now-defunct branches. They would join the more than 12,000 current and former federal intelligence officials already covered by Security of Information Act provisions forcing them to take the secrets of their most closely held work to the grave. A group that advocates a more open and accountable federal government called the blanket proposal “dangerously undemocratic.”
German “Die Welt” daily said that only 5% of the armed terrorists in the so-called Free Army are Syrians, while 95% of them are extremist groups which came from several African countries to jihad in Syria backed by the Gulf and Arab countries.
A member of the German intelligence said that some terrorist groups in Syria wok in full coordination with al-Qaeda, but the extremist groups are most dangerous than al-Qaeda since they commit genocide against children and women.
According to a draft law pertaining to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the intelligence agency will be authorized to not only keep records on people and obtain information about individuals from some public institutions, but also to conduct pre-emptive operations against possible threats inside and outside the country, Taraf daily maintained on Wednesday. The draft, which may well turn Turkey into a state controlled by an intelligence agency, would hugely do away with some democratic achievements Turkey has made in recent years.
Tamir Pardo, director of Israeli national intelligence agency Mossad, has covertly met with Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan in Turkey to discuss the situation in Syria and the ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey, Turkish media reported on Wednesday.
According to reports, Pardo, who is of Turkish and Serbian origin, traveled to Turkey in a private airplane to see Fidan. They reportedly discussed the latest situation in Syria, which has been in turmoil for more than two years, and the impact of Iran on the situation.